Rohit Sharma (Image: Debasis Sen)
Rohit Sharma, India’s captain, has been a standout performer in the ongoing ICC Men’s ODI World Cup, showcasing an attacking batting style that has left an indelible mark on the tournament. With 442 runs to his name, placing him fifth in the highest run-scorers list, an exceptional strike-rate of 123, and an average of 55, Rohit Sharma 2.0 has set the stage on fire, providing a solid foundation for India’s middle-order dominance and contributing significantly to their unbeaten campaign.
As the team geared up for their final league match against the Netherlands, Rohit’s prowess was on full display at the nets both on Friday and Saturday. The Chinnaswamy Stadium, known for its batting-friendly conditions, provided the perfect setting for Rohit to exhibit his extraordinary skills. Opting not to bat on Thursday, Rohit radiated confidence in the nets on matchday minus two and one.
After a series of shots along the ground, Rohit decided to unleash his power-hitting – that was the template seen on both days. On Friday, the iron sheets on the temporary roof of some stands echoed as Rohit sent deliveries from Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, and the throwdown specialists sailing into the stands. One memorable shot off a Siraj delivery saw the ball soaring out of the ground, endangering one of the eagles perched on the stadium roof. Rohit’s onslaught, marked by towering sixes, was a perfect blend of aggression and calculated defence. On Saturday, the Indian skipper played more traditional shots but ensured that the odd bad ball from the throwdown specialists was lofted into the stands.
“Rohit has certainly been a leader, you know, without a doubt,” said Rahul Dravid, India’s head coach, at the pre-match press conference. “I think he’s led by an example both on and off the field. Some of the starts that he’s given us, the way he’s cracked open games for us. A lot of times, people have looked at one… I mean, I can’t go into the specific games, I’m sure that you will be able to look into it, but there have been some games where it could have been tricky for us, but the fact that he’s been able to get us to those kinds of starts has literally cracked open the game.
Team India (Image: Debasis Sen)
“So, in the end, it’s actually looked easy, but on reflection as a coaching staff, when we looked at it, we’ve realised the impact that his innings have had on games like that, that have made it look easy for us and certainly made it easier for the guys who followed in that department.”
It was not only Rohit either. Shreyas Iyer and Virat Kohli joined the power-hitting parade, launching massive hits on Friday. Suryakumar Yadav, Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja contributed to the spectacle, adding to the anticipation of a high-scoring encounter. Even on Saturday, Ashwin continued to slog with precision.
On the bowling front, Mohammed Shami demonstrated sublime rhythm on Friday, posing a challenge to every batsman who faced him. Rohit, Shubman Gill, and KL Rahul found themselves tested as Shami, despite not bowling full tilt in the nets, consistently beat the edge of their bats.
After the intense practice session on Friday, as Rohit made his way back to the dressing room, he encountered a throng of eager fans waiting for autographs and selfies. Undeterred by the security, Rohit, with characteristic humility, directed the guards to allow the fans closer. He graciously gave each fan the time they desired, ensuring smiles and memories through selfies and autographs.
With expectations of a run-fest at the Chinnaswamy, don’t be surprised if the Men in Blue rewrite the record books, especially if they get the opportunity to set a target on Sunday.
Rohit Sharma, India’s captain, has been a standout performer in the ongoing ICC Men’s ODI World Cup, showcasing an attacking batting style that has left an indelible mark on the…
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